Sunday, 5 July 2009

And the answer is. . .

This chirpy chap is, of course, Edgar Alan Poe. He is a writer most people have heard of without having necessarily read his work. If you haven't read his short stories, then you really should. I would recommend The Fall of the House of Usher, William Wilson or the Tell-Tale Heart to get you going. Edgar in Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror is named in his honour and Pitch in Tales of Terror from the Black Ship is a deliberate homage to the great man.

This is H H Munroe, who wrote as Saki. His short stories often feature child protagonists who are tormented by maiden aunts, just as Saki was as a boy. Unlike Saki, though, his characters wreak their revenge.

This is Robert Louis Stevenson. I am a huge fan of all his work, but The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is what gets him a mention here. Again it is a work that everyone 'knows' without having necessarily read it. If you haven't, you should.

This is the great M R James, sitting in his study at King's College, the scene of his Christmas Eve ghost story sessions. That's King's College Chapel through the window. Uncle Montague is named in his honour and he set a kind of gold standard for the art of telling creepy stories.

This woman should be instantly recognisable given the incredible fame of her creation. She is Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and teenage author of the amazing Frankenstein.

This is another person whose face really ought to be more recognisable than it is. He is Bram Stoker, author of Dracula.

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